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Minerva Chorus was founded in the autumn of 2015 by a group of six women who had sung together previously in a large community choir and wanted to further develop their vocal technique and ability.  Within a few months the chorus had grown to a membership of fourteen, and with the support of two excellent and very experienced musical directors had begun to establish the Minerva ‘sound’ and repertoire.  By the start of 2017 we had grown in size, with nineteen women coming together from Derbyshire and South Yorkshire to rehearse every Monday evening.

We are committed to remaining a small group with fixed membership, so that the Chorus can continually develop and improve its vocal and performance skills. 

Applications for membership are always welcome, click here for information on how to join us.

We are looking for new members for all our sections (Soprano 1, Soprano 2, Alto 1 and Alto 2).

If you would like to receive information about Minerva Chorus please complete the form on our Contact us page.  Our privacy notice is displayed under Miscellaneous Information.

 

 

 

 

 

Musical Director

Chris Horn

Assistant Musical Director

Anne Dargue

 

Chris grew up singing in the Bradford Choristers and has sung all over Yorkshire and the North West in cathedral choirs.  He has more than 10 years’ experience of vocal coaching and singing teaching. He has directed a number of different choirs across the North West including South Liverpool Chamber Choir and Hunts Cross Community Choir and has been involved in overseas trips to Poland and Uganda to teach singing as well as taking choirs to perform. Chris has a BA honours degree in Music from the University of Liverpool.

He has taught singing privately, in schools and held several vocal coach and musical director positions for musical theatre productions.  Chris is enthusiastic and passionate about improving the musical standard of every ensemble he works with. 

Since moving from Liverpool to Derbyshire Chris has been appointed as a countertenor Lay Clerk at Derby Cathedral and as MD of a ladies chorus in Erewash.  He has arranged a lot of unaccompanied music over the years for many different choirs, these include, hymns, spirituals, pop songs and carols.  He is an accomplished Jazz musician, playing trombone in many professional bands. He enjoys close harmony and loves the theory of music!

Anne has been singing in choirs from a very early age starting with her school and church choirs, singing everything from musical theatre to requiem masses.  Her love of harmony began when she joined the prestigious Leeds Girls' Choir aged 10. After moving to Derbyshire Anne joined Carolare Choir, Aurora Womens Chorus and Barlow Singers in 2010.

In 2015 Anne became a founder member of Minerva Chorus.  Since joining the chorus Anne has taken an active part in increasing its membership and promoting the chorus to grow its reputation and was Chair from 2018 - 2021.  As Assistant MD Anne has arranged a number of a cappella pieces for the Chorus taking popular pieces and translating them into the Minerva Chorus signature style which we hope our audiences will enjoy.   During lockdown Anne created a number of virtual performances with the chorus that can be found on Minerva's YouTube channel

 

 

 

 

Ann – Soprano 1

Music Librarian &  Performance Coordinator

 

Kate - Soprano 1

 

 

 

Margaret -

Soprano 1

 

 

 

Mags - Soprano 1

 

 

 

 

 

Anne - Soprano 2/Alto 1

Assistant MD

Caroline - Soprano 2

 

 

Helen - Soprano 2 

 

 

Vanessa - Soprano 1/Soprano 2

 Jackie - Soprano 2

Gilly -

Soprano 2

Mandy - Alto 1

 

 

Margaret - Alto 1

Linda  -Alto 1 

Viv - Alto 1

 

Chorus Rep - Bec -

Alto 2

 

Lesley - Alto 2

 

Jane - Alto 2

Sue - Alto 2

 

Nicola - Alto 2

 

 Minerva committee

The administration and management of the Chorus is carried out by a committee, elected annually from Chorus membership.  The Committee includes the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, PR Officer and Chorus Representative(s).  We also have a Performance Co-ordinator who manages all requests for performances.  All Committee decisions are made in accordance with the Chorus constitution, a copy of which can be requested from the Secretary by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Chair - Linda  

Alto 1 

Vice-Chair - Margaret -

Soprano 1

 

Treasurer - Sue -

Alto 2

Chorus Rep -  Gilly -

Soprano 2

 

Chorus Rep - Bec -

Alto 2

What the Chorus Say about being in Minerva

Ann – Soprano 1 

I was fortunate and very excited to join Minerva right at the beginning of the project. I've always enjoyed singing since school choir days. I especially love the challenge of sharing A Cappella arrangements, and rehearsing together with friends on Monday evening is a highlight of the week for me.  As music librarian, I'm pleased to be helping the group to source songs for the repertoire which demonstrates the carefully blended harmony.

Mags - Soprano 1

My mother taught me and my sisters to sing in close harmony as children. Until I joined a community choir a few years ago, I had not sung with a choir since I was at school. I have rediscovered my love of singing and really enjoy singing A Cappella with Minerva. Learning the words and music can be challenging, but we all support each other and our musical directors know how to bring out the best in us. I am getting more and more comfortable with performing out. Singing with my "Minnie sisters" takes me right back to the feeling I got from singing as I child: I feel like I'm home.

Vanessa - Soprano 1/Soprano 2

I fell into singing several years ago quite by accident. I’ve always been musical however joining a chorus had never previously been on my radar.  I’m immensely proud to be part of Minerva and all she represents.  It’s challenging yet incredibly uplifting.  Performances are always a highlight and to have the privilege to stand in front of an audience shoulder to shoulder with such a special group of friends…because that’s what we’ve become… is something I will always cherish.

 Viv - Alto 1

I discovered A Cappella singing in my 50s having never sung before. I love that Minerva is a small, friendly chorus and it does not matter that I don't read music. I look after my granddaughter two or three days a week and look forward to the time she is old enough to come to a concert and proudly say " that's my Nana!"

Past Musical Directors

Nigel Williams 

Born in Cornwall, Nigel moved to Derbyshire to marry his teenage sweetheart Margaret (a past Minerva Chorus member). In his youth Nigel was immersed in the lyrical phrasing and haunting harmonies of Chapel hymns. His early vocal and choral experiences were shaped through many a performance with various Male Voice Choirs as is the Cornish tradition. Nigel and Margaret were blessed with three sons who joined with Nigel to form the internationally known barbershop quartet - HomeSpun (BABS 2016 Champion Quartet).  Now known as Finest Hour Nigel's 3 sons (plus one non family member) are a multiple award winning barbershop quartet in the UK, Europe and USA.   Nigel has sung with, directed, coached and arranged music for numerous Choruses and smaller vocal ensembles.  

Minerva were fortunate to have an MD with Nigel’s talents and experience for 4 years.  Singing and learning under his musical direction has been  incredibly rewarding, he has been truly inspirational and his leadership has been instrumental in developing the Minerva signature style and quality vocal harmonies for which we have become known.

 

Janeen Parker 

Janeen started her music interest and studies early in life as a solo, duet and trio pianist at festivals. Her love of the piano has engendered an immense attention to musical detail but she also loves playing by ear which is where her passion for extra expression comes from. Singing in school and university choirs was always a quiet passion for Janeen but it wasn’t until she had the chance to ‘under-study’ with Nigel in a local Chesterfield women’s chorus that she found her love and talent for conducting and directing. As a very intuitive A Cappella Director, Janeen always brought a joyful humour to the group.  Now travelling Spain and Europe with her partner and trusty caravan, Janeen tries to attend Minerva concerts whenever she is back in the UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last modified onSunday, 07 November 2021 20:22
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